If you’re searching for a workout combining strength training, pilates, and yoga into one powerful routine, look no further than PiYo. You have probably heard of PiYo before, but might not quite know what it is. We’re here to clear up the confusion and set the record straight. PiYo is a fitness system that is designed to work your whole body and get you into shape from head to toe. One of the standout features of PiYo is its emphasis on building lean muscle while promoting flexibility and core strength. Traditional workouts often focus solely on either strength training or flexibility, but PiYo strikes the perfect balance between the two. By engaging in a PiYo class, you can define and tone your lower body, sculpt your core, and increase your overall strength. So grab your yoga mat, get ready to break a sweat, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of PiYo!
What is PiYo?
The “Pi” is for Pilates and the “Yo” is for yoga. So, combining the practices of Pilates and yoga will get you an intense all-over body workout. PiYo is a workout program created by Chalene Johnson, the founder of the Turbo Kick system and Hip-Hop Hustle. It was designed for people who are seeking a higher energy workout than either Pilates or yoga alone can generally provide. Yes, you can sweat in either yoga or Pilates, but with PiYo, you’re constantly moving, so the sweat is for sure!
The low-impact workout combination of yoga and Pilates keeps you constantly moving—sometimes elements of dance or martial arts are thrown in for good measure to mix things up a bit. Since you’re always moving, you won’t have to hold any poses for extended periods of time like with yoga. But you will need to be flexible! Movements are carefully choreographed, so you build upon each sequence of stretches and flexes as you go. The variety helps you build muscle strength, lose weight, increase flexibility—and this makes sure you never get bored!
How PiYo Works
Sequential poses and movements are stacked one after the next in a PiYo work out, so you are constantly upping your game in each session. Planks, lunges, squats, and core work are just a few of the successive exercises that get your motor revved so you’re strengthening muscles both big and small throughout your entire body throughout the workout.
By working in and out of these exercises and movements, you are constantly building strength using your own body’s weight as resistance (see, Pilates?). If you’re ready for it, you can also use light hand weights to increase the amount of strength building. But, the idea is that you’re working to tone your muscles with PiYo, not bulk up!
Because there’s constant movement involved, there’s a significant cardio factor as well. This is a bonus since most yoga or Pilates classes don’t really count as cardio. PiYo classes are aerobic by nature because of the constant sequence of exercises to raise your heart rate, burn those calories, and make you feel the burn! While PiYo classes are generally classified as low-impact, they are high energy—with music to match—to up the variety and fun factor!
What PiYo Does
Most fitness instructors agree that PiYo classes can build and tone muscle and help you lose weight, but there are other benefits as well. Flexibility is another key component of PiYo. If you’ve ever done a yoga workout, you know that long, intense poses can help improve your flexibility. The movements and poses in PiYo increase your flexibility by consistently stretching your muscles and improving your range of motion in your joints. The moves in this flexibility training not only help you achieve a greater range of motion but can also promote better posture and reduce the risk of injuries. Plus, the variety that PiYo programs provide, keep participants excited about the class, and therefore are more committed to sticking with it and coming back again and again. Science also asserts that those who are committed to an exercise program, have lower levels of stress.
To better understand PiYo, here’s a closer look at some specific moves and exercises you’ll encounter during a PiYo class. PiYo incorporates a variety of bodyweight exercises, such as planks, lunges, and squats, to target different muscle groups. These moves are designed to strengthen and tone your muscles while improving your overall endurance.
Additionally, a PiYo fitness program includes high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, which are short bursts of intense exercise followed by active recovery periods. A HIIT workout can be highly effective for weight loss and burning calories, improving cardiovascular fitness, and boosting metabolism. By incorporating a HIIT workout into your PiYo routine, you’ll experience the benefits of a cardio workout while building lean muscle.
Embrace the Power of PiYo with Chuze Fitness
PiYo offers a dynamic and effective fitness program to challenge and strengthen your body. By incorporating PiYo into your fitness routine, you can experience the best of both worlds—combining strength training, cardio, and flexibility exercises in a low impact exercise.
- Cronkleton, Emily. “How to Do PiYo Workouts.” Healthline. 20 December, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/what-is-piyo
- Kim. “Piyo workout review [what you need to know].” Sorey Fitness. 26 April, 2021. https://soreyfitness.com/fitness/piyo-workout-chalene-johnson/
- Jovanovska, Sandra. “Piyo Review – Comprehensive And Unbiased.” Lifestyle Updated. https://www.lifestyleupdated.com/piyo-review/